Our Reviews

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

What is the deal with TWILIGHT??

On Facebook, at school, at Girl Scout Meetings, from my kids, and even all over the TV, I am hearing the word TWILIGHT everywhere!!!! At first, I was not going to investigate, because it is a teen book and I only read adult books. (Yes, that is true book snobbery, there!) I kept that up for a long while, longer than I can believe now. Then, one day, I was in the book section at my favorite "W" mart and saw the book. Thinking "What is the big deal, anyway?" I pick it up and start a quick skim of the first chapter. WOW! I was hooked, but, I still denied myself. After all, I like stories for adults, with those good old adult situations, if you know what I mean. Still, I held off. My son goes to see the movie with his friend, comes home raving - yet, I still hold off. My bestest girlfriend takes her daughter to see the movie and immediately goes out and buys the books. She gushes to me that I have to read it. Okay, so now I give in. I buy the movie cover paperback at the same store I skimmed it at previously. I zipped through this book at amazing speed. It was so well written, not at all what I was expecting from a teen book. Alas, there came a part where I had to set it down. The romance seemed to be pointless. How on earth were they ever going to overcome his bloodthirst to have a relationship? Why couldn't they just get to the sex and bloodletting that I wanted? How was I going to ever finish this book!?!! Oh, the agony! Well, after reading some good old Sherrilyn Kenyon and JR Ward, I dove in again. I finished it rather quickly and handed it off to my son to read - Yes, he knew it was romance, but he was just reading it for the vampires. Scoff, scoff, cough, cough! Yeah, right!!!

So I loved it, I can admit that now. Yes, my teen Girl Scouts and I are discussing this at our next book club meeting this Tuesday. Yes, we are all going to the movies together to see it soon. YES, I am totally into Edward Cullen. I pacify myself by saying it is not perversion, since he is a vamp and well over the legal limit for my lust. Now, if my bratty scouts would hurry and finish NEW MOON, I could read it myself!!!

ARRRGGGHHHH! Where was Edward when I was a teenager!?! Thank you, Stephenie Meyer, for giving me yet another addiction!

Monday, November 24, 2008


The World versus THE WORLD
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I have the best job in the world. The best job ever, actually. I sit at home in my beautiful study which looks out over a gorgeous valley and far off on the horizon is a bright blue line which is the Ionian sea. With a powerful enough telescope, I could see the Greek temple where Pythagorus taught over two thousand years ago.

So here I am, in comfortable, pretty homewear, with a steaming cup of vanilla tea, my favourite, by my monitor, writing (living) tales of love and adventure. Of goodness and truth prevailing and—oh yes—having the sexiest man alive madly in love with my heroine. And (whisper this) me. You can’t write these intense stories unless you fall in love with your protagonists, fall into being your protagonists.

On a good day—not all days are good days—I will melt into my computer monitor in the morning and wake up, dazed, hours later. Having to remind myself that it’s time to make the beds, cook lunch, jump back into The World. Which to be honest is not all that easy if you’ve just spent the past four hours falling in love, evading vicious bad guys and, ahem, having outrageously good sex. All in words alone, it’s true, all simply sitting in front of that monitor, all in your head. But while you’re writing it, if you’re lucky, it’s all true, and it’s all happening to you. In THE WORLD.
The World is the real world of work and bills to be paid and meals to be prepared and –ack!—housework to be done. Going to the dentist, booking the flight, fighting with your bank over unfair charges. All those fun things. It’s The World where you get sick or loved ones get sick, your best friend undergoes a wrenching divorce, another good friend’s son is on drugs. The world where things are often hard, unpleasant, and don’t always end well.

I spent 30 years in The World, doing a hard, stressful job that required massive, industrial amounts of travel. It required incredibly focused attention and fanatical attention to detail, every second of every day. It required for my travel to be calculated down to the minute if I were to make it to the next job or even home. Meeting in Brussels ends at six, at six oh five taxi waiting downstairs for the twenty minute ride to the airport to make the seven o’clock feeder flight to Rome, to make the last nine o’clock flight, which was my last chance of getting home. If anything went wrong, I ended up staying the night in Brussels or in Rome. In conditions like this, you must stay as alert as a gladiator in the arena, because if you miss any step of the way, you’re in trouble.

After a while I hated having to be constantly geared for battle. I could never allow myself dream time, down time.

Call it the left-brain, right-brain divide. You know the one—there are two people inside your head. There’s the logical, factual, detail-oriented you that sees things in segments and then there’s the dreamy, imaginative you that feels your way through situations and can see the big picture.

Integrated personalities are both left-brain and right-brain, but today’s world of work privileges the left brain to the exclusion of the right brain, and most of us end up lop-sided.
The left brain lives in The World, this one, with its duties and limits and facts and the right brain lives in THE WORLD, infinitely brighter and more exciting.

When I switched to writing I felt like I’d been given my life back. I moved from The World to THE WORLD, the one where my books take place. I love it so much there, where I am so immersed in my story I end up walking into walls, because the wall isn’t there in the book, why should it be there in reality? It’s so luscious just sinking into the story, like into a warm bath, living it so intensely you can feel the emotions on your skin. If things are going well, I just hate being yanked from THE WORLD to The World, it feels like some vital part of me is ripped away.
I feel the same about reading, actually. I dive into the book and live it passionately. One of the few things I miss about travelling is those long, long periods of time in which there is nothing to do but read a book. Eight, sometimes ten hours of full immersion in an exciting romance or thriller and you wake up in another city, another country, sometimes another continent and you’ve lived the story completely. Bliss.

What magic our stories are! THE WORLD takes us so far away from The World, often to a brighter, more exciting place. You only get one life in The World, but in THE WORLD, ah, you can have a thousand lives!

Lisa Marie Rice

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Sue-Ellen Winners picked!

Hello all,
New winners have been picked. If your name is listed please, please email me at highlandlovesong@yahoo.com (highlandlovesong at yahoo dot com)

Signed Devil in a Kilt winners:

signed ARC Tall,Dark, & Kilted


Please email me by Sunday November 16th.

Thank you.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Making some changes....

We are going to make a few changes to the Four Ladies Reading blog. We will now be called TRRC READING and will be directly connected to The Romance Reader's Connection site. The reviewers at TRRC will be posting reviews, chatting it up, and maybe even venting a little here at the blog. Please join us for what is surely to be some lively discussions. We will still be having guest bloggers - so let us know if you are interested. Also, our Fair Wendy is moving along to a bright future! We will miss her terribly and hope she will visit often! Thanks and stick with us during the transistion!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A new winner will be drawn!

Hello all, I will be drawing new winners for Sue-Ellen Welfonder's post as many of the winners did not contact me.

If you are a winner and did not email me, please do so tonight.


Friday, November 07, 2008

Writing with Brenda Novak

It was a dark and stormy night…

How many of you have heard about the various “first line” contests that are out there? Some offer prizes for those who come up with the best first line. Others reward those who create the worst (the popular Bulwar/Lytton Fiction Contest sponsored by San Jose State ’s English Department is one of these--and offers $250 to the winner). Regardless of whether they’re looking for the best line or the worst, I’m always tempted to enter. The bigger contests I’ve seen, at least the ones that offer amazing prizes, usually require new writing (a short story or whatever). With my deadlines, my on-line auction for diabetes research (which I’m already organizing for 2009), and my five kids, three of which are currently in the midst of volleyball/soccer season, I can’t even consider taking the time to prepare something for submission. But one line? Hey, anyone can take a few seconds to come up with a good—or bad as the case may be--opener.

So…since it’s just after the elections, and I’m tired of all the rhetoric we’ve been fed, and the angst over the economy, and the onslaught of telephone solicitors telling me the world will come to an end if I don't vote a certain way, it’s time to have some fun, and I’m hoping to do that by sponsoring my own mini version of the Bulwar/Lytton contest.

To give you proper incentive to put your most clever foot forward, I’m going to give the winner a $50 gift certificate he or she can spend at my 2009 On-line Auction for Diabetes Research! There will be at least 1600 items in the auction, many of which you can’t find anywhere else, including rare, autorgraphed books, incredible gift baskets, one-of-a-kind experiences, jewelry, autographed sports paraphernalia, gift certificates to Borders/Waldenbooks, and much, much more. We have 350 items already listed and will be gathering at least another thousand between now and May 1st, when the auction opens at www.brendanovak.com (you can visit there today to see what we have already).

How does this contest work? Submit the absolute worst first line for a romance novel (or any romance subgenre) you can think of. Post it here and I’ll choose a winner at the end of the day.

To get everyone started, I thought I’d list some of the past winners of the Bulwer/Lytton Contest (aka Dark and Stormy Night Contest).

10. “As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break win in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it.”

9. “Just beyond the Narrows , the river widens.”

8. “With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description.”

7. “Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the East wall: ‘Andre creep. Andre creep. Andre creep.’”

6. “Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back alley sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved.”

5. “Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eking out a living at a local pet store.”

4. “ Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do.”

3. “Like an overripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor.”

2. “Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘fear’; a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death—in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies.”

1. “The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the greensward, and with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog’s deception, screaming madly, ‘You lied!’”

Okay, start noodling… Maybe this will get you ready to enter the real thing and we’ll soon have an official Bulwar/Lytton winner in our midst!

Happy writing—Brenda Novak
The Last Stand…Where Victims Fight Back

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Excerpt of Sally Painter's Fae's Gargoyle...

Fae’s Gargoyle
The Hussies series

Maria Jennings awakes to find a naked man in bed with her—how he got there is a blank. Her shock soon turns to panic when she recognizes gargoyle warrior Denton Prescott, the man she’s loved—and hungered for—for years. Before she can steal away, Denton , the sexiest hunk ever to draw breath is seducing her again, and it’s every bit as hot as she ever dreamed.Scorching sex aside, Maria is a Hussy, and her reawakened desires for him threaten her mission—to save Denton . But Denton has a mission of his own—convincing Maria it takes more than the loss of gargoyle magic to stop two soul mates from falling in love. He’ll use every weapon in his erotic arsenal to prove it.


Maria Jennings opened her eyes and was startled to find a naked man lying beside her. Her erratic heartbeat pounded in her ears. She jerked up in bed but the painful throbbing in her temple forced her back down onto the pillow. The room spun around her. Swallowing the dryness in her throat, she tried to remember what had happened. How had she ended up here? Naked?

The sound of the ocean pounding outside the open patio door matched the hammering in her head. The last thing she remembered was standing in Danu’s castle saying goodbye after months of training. It was time to begin her mission, so why was she naked and in bed with—just who was this man?

Gingerly, she lifted up onto one arm and blinked against the diffused light. The room illuminated brighter each time the silk draperies billowed out and a breeze rushed across the room, carrying the scent of ocean and tropical flowers. Her spirit soared with the smell of home, only something was missing within the familiar scents. Something was very wrong.

Moonlight rushed across the room and fell over the muscular man lying beside her. Shadows swayed and the light moved across indented buttocks, then rose past broad shoulders to stretch toward dark wavy hair. Before she could glimpse his face, the light flittered away with the retreating breeze.

She held her breath and waited until the next gust of wind shoved the draperies aside in a fluttering mass and once more bathed the naked man in soft light. It moved over him like an ocean’s tide and this time touched his face.

Her pulse spiked. She sat straight up in bed and smothered a gasp with trembling hands. This had to be a dream!
She was in bed with Denton Prescott!

It couldn’t be. She closed her eyes, but when she opened them he was still there. Denton Prescott? In bed with her? Naked? He shifted onto his stomach, turning his back to her. Maria dropped her gaze. Heat rushed to her cheeks. His buttocks were just as fine as she remembered. Well, she’d never seen them in the flesh, only in stone when he’d stood to take flight but had been caught in the rays of sunrise.

The moment rushed back to her as though it happened only yesterday instead of ten years ago. They’d been chatting on the campus steps late into the night. Time had seemed endless until the first rays of daylight struck his face. She’d been in awe as she watched his magnificent gargoyle form emerge and his clothes singe to ash. The hardening had spread over him until he was completely cast in stone.

She released her breath. It seemed an eternity since that night. A painful eternity when he was called to war, never once contacting her. And when he returned home a hero, he was quickly caught up in the life of a celebrity. She stared down at his hard, muscled body, her fingers itching to stroke the fine planes. Instead, she closed her hands into fists. How cruel this was. Her fondest fantasy come true and she was unable to touch him.

Unable to tell him how much she loved him. Not that he cared.

The air stirred cooler and she shivered. What had Danu been thinking, plopping her down into his bed? She had long since tamped down her feelings for him, but at that moment realized when she’d been captured forever. Ever since he’d flashed that first devastating smile.

Oh, Danu, what have you done? Maria shook her head. The ancient guru wasn’t a cruel creature so this had to be a mistake. She tried to recall arriving there but met a thick fog where memories should reside.

Regardless how she’d ended up in Denton’s bed, she must fly away before he woke up and discovered her. Scooting out of the bed, she bent down and groped at the discarded clothes littering the floor. Her fingers closed around a dark-colored dress but she froze when he stirred again. She scooped up the dress and tiptoed toward the open bedroom door.

Her heartbeat pounded in her ears as she hurried down the hall, all her attention focused on the arched doorway ahead. She emerged into what appeared to be a large den lit by a corner floor lamp. Her bare feet slapped against the terra-cotta tiled floor while she struggled to pull the silk dress over her head. She hurried toward the glass doors, determined to exit through the portico and fly into the night. The ocean sang to her and her pulse pounded like the waves beating against the sand. Just where the hell was she? Nothing seemed familiar. The gardens surrounding the pool were not the rich vibrant colors she was accustomed to seeing. There was no magical vibration in them. In anything.

She’d worry about that later. Right now she needed to escape. She stretched forward, but the familiar pop didn’t come. She checked the dress to make sure none of the material was covering her shoulder blades. The strapless garment fit fine. Nothing to block her wings. Again she flexed her muscles and mentally summoned her faerie wings to release.


Okay, maybe she was sick. That might account for her inability to recall how she’d ended up in Denton’s bed. Pain seared her temple and she gripped the back of a nearby chair. Oh, that was not normal. She massaged the throbbing ache with trembling fingers. She’d just leave by her own two feet and try flying once she was away from the house.

The image of Denton lying beside her flashed across her mind. Oh dear butterfly wings! She’d been in bed with Denton Prescott. Her breath came in hard, short pants. And she was running away from him because? She mentally shook herself. Because she had no explanation for being there. Because he didn’t love her.

But Denton…naked… She wrung her hands together, longing to return to his bed and at long last live out her greatest fantasy. Enough of this. She had to leave before he found her there. She took a deep breath and reached for the door knob.

“Where are you going?” came a groggy baritone voice behind her.

Caught! Her heart skipped a beat. What should she do? She pretended she hadn’t heard him and closed her fingers around the knob.


REUNITED, Book 1 Gargoyles Seduced - EC, Top Pick - Night Owl Romance"The man is a walking triple orgasm..." Literary Nymphs Reviews

Reunited nominated Best Paranormal - Vote NOR Awards - http://tinyurl.com/4wm2q3

Monday, November 03, 2008

Winner please email me!

If you won a book or prize from Sue-Ellen Welfonder please email me. I will give current winners until tomorrow to contact me with their information then new winners will be chosen.

Thank you to everyone!

highlandlovesong at yahoo dot com

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sue-Ellen/Allie Winners...

We have winners! Congratulations to all the winners of Sue-Ellen/Allie's great post! Please send your information to me at highlandlovesong at yahoo dot com.

And the winners are:


1) catslady



Signed copies of DEVIL IN A KILT



3)Suzanne Lajoie





*Thank my son for picking your name and thank you all for helping me teach him his numbers!*

Thank you to everyone who posted a comment!
*images are thanks to Sue-Ellen! Aren't they awesome! If you all do nothing else you need to visit her websites: www.welfonder.com and www.alliemackay.com to view her pictures! Thank you Sue-Ellen for allowing me to use them*

Monday, October 27, 2008

How do you woo? With Sue-Ellen Welfonder aka Allie MacKay

How Do You Woo? … Highland Magic

Readers familiar with my books know I love the woo. And, no, I don’t mean old-fashioned courting. The woo is how I think of paranormal light. To me, that means ghosts, time travel, and Celtic lore. My Scottish medievals written under my real name, Sue-Ellen Welfonder, always have a touch of woo. My Allie Mackay Scottish-set paranormals really let me indulge this particular passion.

I don’t think I’ve ever visited a Scottish castle, ruined or otherwise, without wondering what it would be like to encounter the ghost of dashing medieval Highlander. Of course, he’d seem real. He’d also be ready and eager to sweep me off my feet. Another wish I have in such places is to slip back in time and land in the arms of a medieval hottie Scottie. He, too, would be keen on ravishing me.

Of course, he would. These are my fantasies, after all.

As for Highland magic … I really do believe.

Scotland is magical as I’ve seen again and again when spending time there. Take a peek at the Tomnaverie stone circle in northeastern Scotland. I took this photo on a chill and drizzly November day. Tomnaverie – believed to be 4,500 years old - is remote, small, and you can almost be guaranteed you’ll be alone when you visit. To me, that makes its magic so much stronger than an over-run site like Stonehenge.

Scotland abounds with places like Tomnaverie.

Places that are steeped in a magical, otherworldly feel.

And there enough tales and legends about each such place to fill centuries of long and dark winter nights spent around the peat fire.

I have great fun exploring such themes in my Allie Mackay titles. My upcoming release, TALL, DARK, AND KILTED ~ NAL ~ Nov. ’08, has the kind of sexy medieval ghost hero I’d love to meet. And the setting, Scotland’s wild and remote far north, is just the kind of place where staunchest disbelievers might think twice before they rumple a nose at Celtic whimsy and the unexplained…

A good man is hard to find.
Cilla Swanner has been jilted by her lover, and she is struggling with a jewelry business that’s far from sparkling. She needs a getaway to someplace quiet and remote. Someplace like Dunroamin Castle in Scotland where her aunt and uncle run a retirement home in the majestic Highlands. But what she finds there may be more than she can handle.
Or is it the other way around?
Centuries ago, the roguish Scots knight known as Hardwick was renowned for his swordsmanship, both on and off the battlefield. But a traveling bard cursed him to wander the world forever, pleasing a different woman each night with no hope of fulfillment or true love. Then Hardwick meets Cilla, who may be his only chance for salvation.
Cilla - being my creation – is up to the challenge of a ghostly hero. She’s enchanted by Dunroamin Castle. A place where the past embraces you the instant you step through the door. She loves the sense of slipping into an older, less harried world, even if her room reminds her of the set of an old black-and-white Dracula movie. Cilla also falls under Scotland’s own spell. She learns that the Highlands are more than hauntingly beautiful. And she discovers that this world holds things that can’t always be explained.

But not everyone is Cilla.

Or me.

Some people struggle with the woo.

They can’t wrap their minds around Highland magic. Drifting mist is scenic but not supernatural. The beautiful luminosity of a Highland summer night is just that, beautiful. The smooth, perfectly round and white pebble found on a Hebridean strand will never cure terrible maladies. There aren’t any sprites in the woods and certainly not a water horse in the river. Heaven forbid someone mention a water bull. That wasn’t a faint skirl of pipes out on the lonely, night-bound moor. It was the piercing cry of a bird. Everyone knows it’s impossible to catch a glimpse of the past if you step – all by your lonesome – into the tumbled walls of a castle ruin. Ghosts are out of the question.

There are many people who agree with the above.

I am not one of them.

But such a skeptic lives in the pages of TALL, DARK, AND KILTED. He’s Cilla’s Uncle Mac who owns Dunroamin. As you can see in the following exchange that takes place not long after Cilla’s arrival at the castle, Uncle Mac wouldn’t acknowledge a ghost if one floated right past him. In this snippet, Cilla has just asked him if Dunroamin has ghosts….

“Ho! Not here an hour and already you’re asking what every American wants to know.” Uncle Mac’s face split in a broad, twinkly-eyed grin. “The only ghosts hereabouts are my creaky knees. If you count both together, they’re well over a hundred.”
Cilla smiled. “If your knees are creaky, I would’ve noticed.” She crossed the room and hugged him. “I’d rather hear about ghosts.”
“Would you now?” Uncle Mac lifted a bushy brow. “Truth is you won’t be seeing any. I took my first breath in these walls. If there were bogles flitting about, sure enough and I’d know it.”
Aunt Birdie sniffed. “What about the gray lady on the main stairs?” She came forward to join them, her purple-and-blue watered silk dress swirling around her like an exotic, perfume-scented cloud. “Or the little boy who sits on a stool in a corner of the kitchen?”
Her husband hooted. “The day a misty lady floats down my stairs, I’ll shave off my beard.” He rocked back on his heels, amused. “The offer stands for any spook that might care to put in an appearance.”
“Have a care, dear. There’s always a kernel of truth to any legend.” Aunt Birdie tapped his chest with a red-tipped fingernail. “Bucks County back home is steeped in tradition and ghosts. Here ….” she let her voice tail off. “Let’s just say that you, as a Highlander, should know better than to scoff at such things.”
Uncle Mac huffed and waved a hand.
“Tell me” – he winked at Cilla – “do you believe in such foolery? Ghosts, tall tales, and plaid-draped, sword-packing beasties that go bump in the night?”
Cilla bit her lip.
From what she’d seen of Scotland so far, she doubted Uncle Mac would like her answer.
That’s Uncle Mac. A wonderful character – always kilted, by the way – who is full of life, bluster, and good humor. He doesn’t believe in the woo.

There are lots of Uncle Macs in the world.

I encountered one early in my career. This reader found it ridiculous that my heroine was gifted with second sight. She ended her online commentary by asking: “How many people do you know with second sight?”

Well, … err, ahem….

It just so happens that I know quite a few. My own grandmother had it in spades. So much so that she scared me sometimes. And I have many Highland friends who have someone in their family who is so gifted. Or they know someone in the village who is. Or they have the sight themselves. I don’t know a single Highlander who’d deny its existence.

But there is so much more to Celtic legend and lore.

Second sight is just the tip of the iceberg. Highland Scotland is a treasure trove of the woo and the farther back in time that you go, it just gets more fascinating. People really did believe in sacred wells, charmed stones, mystical creatures and fairies. Sea monsters swam in the waters around the Hebrides and every Islesman kept a watch for Selkies. Trolls were greatly feared by Shetlanders and Orkneymen. Everywhere, the evil eye was dreaded, the local seer (usually a man) was highly respected, and the powers of wise women were in great demand. Omens were carefully sought and studied before any clan embarked on an important venture. Clan elders knew such signs could foretell the outcome of a raid or a battle and acted accordingly. Childbirth brought its own array of precautions and charms, the wealth and variety of which is beyond mind boggling.

Now look at the other two photos. This is Smoo Cave in Scotland’s far north. Legends abound about this cave, one being that it is a dwelling place of fairies. Another tale claims Smoo Cave hides an entrance into the netherworld. Could be those orbs surrounding me are fairies. Or spirits of the many souls said to have met their doom in the cave. Or they might be droplets of spray from the waterfall behind me.

Either way, Smoo Cave is a place where you can believe in anything.

Truth is Gaelic Scotland has an incredibly rich heritage of folklore, tradition, and beliefs. There were customs and superstitions that touched every aspect of daily life. It would take many more words than suitable in this blog to discuss them all.

Thanks to the Highlanders’ fierce pride in ancestry and culture, this amazing tapestry of lore has been well preserved. Those fortunate enough to visit Scotland can see living traces of this legacy. I sometimes think each blade of grass, clump of heather, and stone has a story.

Wonders are everywhere. Sometimes in the most unexpected places. Here’s one example: Glamis Castle is a huge tourist draw. It also brims with mystic and legend. But! Those who care to look beyond the well-known, and are willing to tramp down a steep, wet and weedy riverbank, can find an ancient pagan well beneath the old church in Glamis village. The well is just a few feet from the river’s edge and hidden behind a tangle of ivy fronds.

But it is there.

Testament to the old ways and … no surprise, really … if you peer into the peaty water, you can see a fairly modern looking tin cup. It would seem the ancients aren’t the only ones who trusted in the well’s healing abilities.

Highland magic is alive and well.

And it was more than that in medieval Scotland. It was everything. A part of daily life as natural and accepted as eating, sleeping, and breathing.

I cannot imagine writing a Scottish-set book (no matter the century) without including these traditions and lore that are so tightly woven into Scotland’s heritage. Yet I know some of my colleagues would rather sit on a tack than include anything ‘paranormal’ in their historicals. And (see above) I know there are readers who feel the same.

Sooo … how do you woo?

Do you enjoy threads of Celtic myth and legend in your Scottish reads? Can you push the envelope enough to enjoy a sexy medieval Scottish ghost hero? Or do you prefer your tales wholly de-wooed?

I’m curious!
All views are welcome.

Please comment to win:
3 signed ARCs of TALL, DARK, AND KILTED (or wait until Nov. for the actual book – winners can decide)
1 signed ARC of SEDUCING A SCOTTISH BRIDE – my next (Welfonder) Scottish medieval, coming from GCP in March ‘09
3 signed copies of my reader favorite, DEVIL IN A KILT
1 pipes and drums CD as a special bonus prize

Readers can visit me at:
http://www.welfonder.com/ (Scottish medievals written under my own name for Grand Central Publishing, formerly known as Warner Books)

http://www.alliemackay.com/ (Scottish-set paranormals written under my pen name, Allie Mackay, for Penguin/NAL)

Thanks so much, Wendy and friends, for inviting me to guest blog. I appreciate it!
To everyone else … Alba gu brath! (Scotland forever)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Special guest tomorrow...

I wanted to let everyone know that Sue-Ellen Welfonder aka Allie MacKay will be dropping by for a visit tomorrow. It's sure to be a great day so make plans to stop by.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Some news...

Hello everyone,
I thought I'd pass on something. Although if you read Genn's blog you'll already know it. But Jenn has been has been released from her contract with Mira. They published her first book in her Virtual series over a year ago, May 07, and were supposed to have released book 2 by now. But they kept pushing it back. They blamed Walmart for not buying enough of Jenn's books. But regardless she is now released from her contract and can look for another publisher. The bad part? She will have a hard time getting another publisher to release book 2 and 3 in a series, meanwhile us fans of the series are left without a book. She's considering self-publishing, but we'll just have to wait and see how it goes.

If you'd like to read her words on the matter visit her blog here:

It's sad and yet it's not. Those of us in her group have known about ongoing issues and concerns for awhile, but I really hate it for Jenn. Please send her good thoughts and prayers that she finds a new publisher soon and will see her books once more in the hands of fans, both new and old.

I think Mira has made a mistake and realize it at a later date, but that is my personal opinion on the matter.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin and Bean Soup recipe...

In TRRC's feature article for October, one reviewer commented on making a Pumpkin and Bean Soup. Well here is the recipe. I hope you will try it and let us know what you think. If you have some great Halloween or fall recipes you'd like to share we us, we'd be honored.



2 cups Water
2 tablespoons Dried Haricot Beans
1/4 Red Pepper
4 Chives
20g Butter
1 Small Onion, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Curry Powder
250g Pumpkin, peeled, chopped
2 cups Chicken Stock
1/4 cup Grated Smoked Cheese
1 tablespoon Sour Cream

Combine water and beans in a bowl, cover, stand overnight.
Transfer undrained beans to pan, simmer, covered, about 1 hour or until beans are tender; drain.
Cut pepper into thin strips, cut chives into 6cm lenghts. Heat butter in pan, add onion, garlic, and curry powder, cook, stiring, until onion is soft. Add pumpkin and stock, simmer, covered, until pumpkin is soft. Blend or process pumpkin mixture until smooth.
Return pumpkin mixture to pan, stir in beans and pepper, bring to a boil. Add cheese and sour cream, stir until heated through. Serve soup topped with chives.

Recipe can be made a day ahead.
Storage: Covered, in refridgerator.
Freezer: Suitable.
Microwave: Suitable.

I hope everyone tries this!!! You can probably just get canned haricot beans instead of soaking them, etc...I think that is what Mark does to save time and do it all in one day. But it is DELICIOUS!!!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

And we have a winner!

Congratulations to our winner of the Pamela Britton book : Carol! Please email me at highlandlovesong at yahoo dot com to send me your contact information. It's a great book!

And we have Winners!!!

Congratulations to the winner of our Shannon K. Butcher post:


Greta please email me with your contact information and which book you'd like, so Shannon can get your book out to you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

ON THE MOVE by Pamela Britton

Pamela Britton
The NASCAR Library Collection
ISBN: 9780373772223
September 2008

Vicki Bradford might work for the most ruthless sports agent in the business, but she's no quitter, even when she hits the lowest of career lows—acting as a glorified babysitter to NASCAR's disruptive newcomer, Brandon Burke. But his devilish grin and the gleam in his eye tell her he won't be so easy to tame.…

Brandon isn't about to let his wild ways on and off the track be tempered by a buttoned-up stunner hired to make him behave. And he's not above a little pulse-pounding game of seduction to send her running. But one kiss ignites something powerful between them. And now it's a matter of how to avoid the crash and burn of two opposites steering recklessly toward love.


WendyK *BTW this is a great story and series!*

Think Pink...

Pamela Britton is part of a great organization. Think Pink , http://www.norcalthinkpink.org/. This is a great cause and group. Please visit the site and hopefully we can open up a discussion on this issue and what it means to us all.

If you have questions about the group or it's cause please ask away.


Pamela Britton...a special message

Okay, I'll be honest. The original draft of this blog was a morbidly sad account of my father's death. How it affected my writing. How, to this day, I draw on the pain I suffered as I slowly watched him die of cancer.


I deleted it. I hate sad stories. That's probably why I write romance novels for a living. Besides, these days cancer doesn't have to be scary. It doesn't have to be sad. It can be cured, especially if we're talking breast cancer here.

I'll be honest. I'd never had a mammogram when I first joined Think Pink. I'd volunteered my services after my father died having made the commitment to do whatever I could to help fight his awful disease. He didn't have breast cancer, although men can get it, but I figured one cancer was as good as another to try and sucker punch. So I joined. Unfortunately, I made the mistaking of mentioning my lack of a mammogram to one of Think Pink's founders, Melody Christenson. We were at her work--a place that does medical imaging--and so you can imagine what happened next. She trotted me over to the receptions desk and said, "Get Pam an appointment today." I remember mentally screaming, "Noooooo." I didn't want my breasts squished, especially on such short notice. I needed time to psych myself into the deal. But I didn't think it was right tell one of Think Pink's founders that I was too scared to do the very thing that Think Pink is all about: early detection. So I swallowed my fear and did it. And you know what?

It wasn't that bad.

It wasn't that bad at all. In fact, I feel like silly baby for thinking it would hurt. I didn't.

So I chose for this blog to be a positive account of my first breast screening. And a reminder to all of you to CHECK YOUR BREASTS. And, failing that, to get a yearly screening. Cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence. Especially breast cancer. In fact, it now has a 97% cure rate if detected early.

Get out there, girls! Get your ta-tas mashed. It just might save your life.
*leave a comment for your chance to win a signed book from Pam*

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

NO ESCAPE by Shannon K. Butcher

Shannon K. Butcher
October 2008
*taken from Shannon's website*

Nowhere to Run

Teacher Isabelle Carson is grief-stricken, angry, and scared. Three of her childhood friends have died. The police say they’re suicides, but Isabelle knows they would never, ever take their own lives. Her past binds her to every victim, and she knows it’s only a matter of time before the killer comes after her. Only one man can help her now, the only man she’s ever trusted, the man who saved her so long ago . . .

No Place to Hide

For Grant Kent, Delta Force vet, just being near Isabelle brings back old memories and desires, and stirs longings he’d rather deny. Yet he can’t deny the real terror in her eyes, or resist the thought of holding her again. But even as their friendship begins to blossom into a passionate affair, a killer continues his deadly rampage, and plots his next move, the “suicide” of Isabelle Carson.
Review of NO ESCAPE done by www.theromancereadersconnection.com

Welcome Shannon K. Butcher

I have a confession to make. I’m a blog virgin.

I’ve read them, but never actually participated in blogging until now. I’ve heard several smart people say that if you’re not a “blog person” you shouldn’t try to be one. It would come across fake and unpleasant for all involved.

Not having any innate knowledge as to what constitutes this elusive blogging nature, and having even less time, I decided the smartest thing I could do was avoid blogging altogether. Besides, I always figured that I don’t have anything to say that someone would find so interesting they’d feel the need to stop their day and read it. Heck, half the time I can’t even get my family to stop what they’re doing long enough to hear me yell it’s time for dinner. Perhaps that’s more a commentary on my cooking than anything else, but I digress. We were talking about my clever plan to avoid blogging so as not to induce any fake unpleasantries -- a plan that is clearly doomed to failure.

It’s becoming increasingly evident to me that avoiding blogs is akin to avoiding cell phones or ATMs -- not smart. So here I am, throwing myself upon your mercy, hoping that some of you brilliant “blog people” might enlighten me as to what draws you to certain blogs so that I will no longer feel compelled to avoid participating in the future.

Thanks for helping deflower this former blog virgin. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me.

Shannon K. Butcher
*Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of your choice of NO ESCAPE, NO REGRETS, or NO CONTROL signed by the author!*

Monday, October 13, 2008

Congrats, Winner of Colleen Coble's book...

Congratulations to Ladystorm! Please email me at highlandlovesong at yahoo dot com. This is a great book you are certain to enjoy!

Winner of Gennita Low book:

Congrats to Mo! Please email me with your address information! You won a book from Gennita Low!


Winners will be drawn later today....

I just wanted to let everyone know that winners will be chosen later today for Gennita Low's post and Colleen Coble's post.

I've been sick with sinus issues and haven't felt like being online.

hugs to everyone,

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Colleen Coble

An Amish Romantic Suspense Novel from Million-selling Award-winning Novelist Colleen Coble.
Hannah Schwartz slipped away from her Amish family to meet with her beau, Reece Ericson. When she returned, she discovered her parents murdered and their handmade quilts stolen.
Years later, a shunned Hannah returns to the scene of the crime in hopes of restoring her family and her faith. But while much has changed in Hannah's life, the danger at home now threatens with a vengence.

In the quiet safety of the Bluebird Ranch, old promises resurface and unexpected love brings new hope.
Though tragedy has wrecked her life, Allie Siders holds on to the hope that her five-year-old daughter, Betsy, will speak again. But with a stalker out for revenge, all Allie can think about now is their safety. She must sever all ties and abandon life as she knows it. She heads to the peaceful Bluebird Ranch, nestled deep in Texas hill country, and to the only person who can help them.
The ranch is a sanctuary for abused horses, and also for troubled youths: the perfect place for Betsy to grow and recover. Ranch owner Elijah DeAngelo eagerly welcomes the duo. But Rick Bailey-the ranch foreman and DeAngelo's right hand man-hasn't decided to let his guard down . . . yet.
Promises made long ago soon force Rick and Allie to work together to escape danger. Will they discover love along the way?

Reality Bending with Colleen Coble

Reality Bending

Okay, I admit it. My characters are real. No really. They have to be real or they wouldn’t take over the story the way they do. I can be typing along with a destination for my character in mind. The next thing I know she’s off doing something I had NO IDEA would happen. Before I was a writer, I heard authors say crazy stuff like that and thought it was a publicity ploy. Um, no. It’s real. Characters have minds of their own, and I often can’t fathom them.

The very best characters live on it in the minds of readers. My readers’ favorite character is Bree from the Rock Harbor series. She eats pistachios and has a search-and-rescue dog. She is crazy about Elvis music. She lives in a restored lighthouse on Superior’s south shore. I had so many requests for more books about her that I recently had to write another one that will be out in February called Cry in the Night. I’d intended to write a normal murder mystery and embroil her in it. She and I had no idea where the story would head once I got started. Bree is in big personal trouble. Very big personal trouble that threatens her son and her marriage. Poor girl.

See, she is a real person that I feel sorry for. That didn’t keep me from putting her in terrible difficulties, but I did feel a twinge of regret. And really, part of the trouble is her own fault. She veered off into new directions and I had no choice but to follow. She can’t blame me for the mess she’s made of everything. I told her I was washing my hands of it all.

Now you see why authors are thought to be a little demented. We talk to people in our heads. Mostly because we’re alone all day with a computer and it’s talk to our characters or to ourselves. I recently went on a big author bus tour. It was a luxury bus with 26 other authors, most of them romance writers, put on by Levy and Meijer Supercenters. Great fun! I had almost forgotten how to talk to real people, but it’s like riding a bicycle and it soon came back to me. The good news is that we were all a little twisted and could talk about our characters like they really exist.

And the weird thing is, we all KNOW they do.
*Leave a comment to Colleen's post for your chance to win a copy of LONESTAR SANCTUARY!*

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Well all, it is officially twenty nine days until election day and no matter what your party, Democrat or Republican, come November 4, 2008 it will be time for you to do your civic duty and VOTE. While this process occurs yearly in some areas it is the every four year election, where we choose our next President, senators and representatives that garners the most attention. So in taking a step back from all the campaigning, i.e, rallies, political debates and town hall meetings, I thought about the number of romances that I've read or that are available when the premise of the book relates to a political figure, be it the hero, heroine or a secondary character. The list is long and some have been out for quite a while.

Lets start with Evelyn Rogers' GOLDEN MAN published in 1999, the hero is the President of the United States and the heroine a lowly wage earner that stumbles into the wrong room at the absolutely right time. STATE SECRETS by Linda Lael Miller has a secondary character as the newly elected president, he is the cousin of the heroine, and it is her brother the secret service are after, so they put an agent on her. STATE SECRETS was re-released By MIRA in 1995. For those that are Merline Lovelace fans, PERFECT DOUBLE, part of the Code Name Danger series features the head of the OMEGA agency, sexy Adam Ridgeway and covert operative Maggie Sinclair who in PERFECT DOUBLE poses as the vice-president of the United States.

Among the fictional Silhouette Desire families are the Danforths. Their family dynasty was presented to readers in 2004 and one of the main heroes, Abe Danforth is a newly elected US senator. The romance of course is with his campaign manager, a very pregnant campaign manager who leaves before the scandalous secret is revealed and senator's private life becomes very public. Author Kathryn Shay also has a political romance in the offering, SOMEONE TO BELIEVE IN, where the hero is Senator Clay Wainwright and the heroine is a community activist. Flip the coin and author Vicki Hinze gives us a female vice president named Sybil Stone that is the lead character in HER 2002 romantic suspense LADY LIBERTY.

These are only a few of a very long list of books that feature political themes under the romance genre. these also just happen to be my personal favorites, but I'm sure some of you out there have a few you can add, if so let's here from you.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Virtually His by Gennita Low

Chosen to be the ultimate secret operative, Helen Roston has become the
most dangerous woman in the world. Two years of training and she's now ready for
the final phase—a risky combination of virtual reality and a mind-altering
serum. When her mysterious and faceless "trainer" syncs his mind to hers using
the program, she's amazed at her sizzling response to his virtual touch. But
Helen likes to be in control. She's not going to beg for more. Helen's final
test is a challenging mission, picked by the other government agencies whose
candidates lost out to her. To succeed, she has to put herself completely in the
hands of her trainer, a man she's not sure she can trust. But all of COS Command
are counting on her. She cannot fail.

*taken from Barnes and Noble website.

Read my review of Jenn's great book, VIRTUALLY HIS here:


*just a note VIRTUALLY HERS release date is wrong within the review. For more information on the correct release date and updates on Jenn's writing please visit Jenn's website at www.gennita-low.com*

Have you read VH? Did you love it? Are you eager for more?

A visit with Gennita Low and a free ebook

The last thing I had ever thought I'd end up writing was spy romance novels. My first attempt at a romance was in a genre I happen to love--a medieval. I knew I loved reading about warriors with big swords, knights out on a quest, who fell in love with some damsel/maiden in distress.

This was pre-Internet days, so I did a lot of my research by buying books and going to the library. When I finally started, I fell in love with the act of writing, sitting for hours happily scribbling the story long hand. I finished my masterpiece in a mere few months, without any idea about things such as first draft, revision, or that the big pile of typed papers was called a manuscript. I just wanted to tell the story.

It took me a while before I realized that, even though I read up everything I could about medieval life, there were a few things wrong with my masterpiece:

1) That book wasn't a historical; it was a his-te-rical. It was really, really bad.
2) My knights all spoke like Navy SEALs on horses
3) My heroine, who was a Viking slave girl, could wield a sword like a "berserker" because the bad guy, the Viking madman wanted her to berserk for some reason by practicing this mind-control thing on her
4) There was a final kungfu-like scene in which the hero/knight duels with the really bad-ass Huge Viking Bad Guy with my heroine in a berserker rage by his side against her lover.

Oh yes, this his-te-rical really exists and it's hidden in a safe place never to be discovered. At times I think of shredding it. Better still, burning it and spreading its ashes in different places so that no spirit on earth can bring it together again. I cringe at the memory of having allowed a few friends and literary agents read it. Those poor folks probably haven't ever recovered.

But you know what? I did discover something about my writing. I found out that I love writing action scenes, especially those involving bawdy men speaking like they were spec. ops. warriors, and that I enjoy showcasing heroines who are capable of taking care of themselves. I discovered that I like weaponry and their usage in warfare and defense systems. I didn't know it, but in those early years, I was, in my own mind, developing my own super-soldier-spy, a theme that is the basis of my current three-book Virtual series, the first one being VIRTUALLY HIS (http://www.eharlequin.com/).

After studying the craft and the writing business more, my first "serious" manuscript was called Big Bad Wolf. It was as much a surprise to me that I could write this spy romance novel because really, at that time, I never enjoyed spy books that much. They were okay, lots of bang-bang, and then more boom-boom. Then, I read Linda Howard's Diamond Bay. Oh. My. God. Something just clicked on in my head. I've found my favorite genre, that dark-souled hero with the darker-souled heroine. And I've never looked back.

Big Bad Wolf (link:http://www.gennita-low.com/GEMS/gems3/BBW1Authornote.rtf) *visit here to read the first chapter of this great story for free* is my first spy novel. It contained all the nuggets/seedlings to my COS commando and GEM verse/mythos. Besides winning several major competitions, it also finaled in RWA's Golden Heart, a contest for the unpublished, twice. Yes, I'm very proud of it ;-) because this manuscript was the beginning of my discovery of myself as a writer.

I hope that you enjoy the free ebook.(http://www.rooferauthor.blogspot.com/ visit here to get all the chapters of this great book for free) Please answer my question at the end of the book because it'll help me make a decision. I hope I gave readers a little insight into the growing evolution of a writer. For writers, I hope I gave you the encouragement to look for your strengths and to go with it in your work.

I also love to hear from readers, so please ask your questions here or email me at Jenn@Gennita-Low(dot)com (sorry, I hate trolling spambots too. Damn tech-spies ;-P).


If you'd like to read part of the beginning please visit here:
*Leave a comment to Jenn's post for your chance to win a signed copy of VIRTUALLY HIS!*

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Amie Stuart!!!!

Amie Stuart I need you to contact me with your information to win Virginia Kantra's book. If I do not hear from you by tomorrow another winner will be picked. Please email me at
highlandlovesong at yahoo dot com.

Thank you,

a Long Day....

I'm sorry for not being here. If you'd like to hear me rant visit my personal blog at www.the-keels.blogspot.com.

It's been a mess for me. I'm still not in a great mind right now so I'll keep this short and sweet.

Hope everyone is having a great day and reading something fun and great.

Any new books added to your piles today?

The website has been updated today as well:


Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Morning Reading....

Okay everyone, what are you reading this Monday Evening? Okay so I was going to post this earlier and I didn't get around to it. So what are you reading tonight? What are you looking forward to reading in October?

I'm reading TRIAL BY FIRE by Jo Davis, it's really good. I'm enjoying it alot.



Saturday, September 27, 2008

And we have a Winner!

Congratulations to our Virginia Kantra Post winner, Amie Stuart. Please email me at highlandlovesong at yahoo dot com with your address information. Thank you again to Virginia Kantra for stopping by and visiting with us.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Author Katrina Wampler speaks about an Author Tour

I have been given the privilege of hosting a Christian Author Tour with some of the most amazing published authors in the industry and you're invited!!!

Our very first featured author will be Sharon Hinck, joining us September 27th at
http://www.katrinalwampler.com/. You will be able to view her past published works as well as her latest release. Sharon Hinck is the proud winner of the ACFW Book of the Year award at this year's conference. Be sure to stop by http://www.katrinawampler.wordpress.com/ to view her interview in its entirety through out the week of September 27 and October 3. Leave a comment for her to be considered for an autographed copy of one of her best selling novels.

Be sure to stop by regularly for updates on the next featured author. There will be a list of BLOGs that are following the tour as well giving you added opportunities to win a copy of my latest release A Hope and A Future. Be sure to stop in to meet the characters of A Hope and A Future as well as my upcoming novel (and sequel) Hopeless Tap Water.

We'll see you on the Christian Author Tour.

Katrina L Wampler

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Today is Thursday and we have Virginia Kantra visiting us since Wednesday. I'd like to thank her for doing that. She is such a great author and person. But since it's Thursday and the weekend is almost here, I wondered what book is everyone looking forward to reading this weekend?

I have planned to read TRIAL BY FIRE by Jo Davis.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sea Fever by Virginia Kantra

August 2008
Dylan's story
Some heat cannot be quenched...
A desire for life...
Regina Barone knows something is missing from her life. She spends her days working in her mother's restaurant on the Maine island of World's End and her nights caring for her young son. When the island's only eligible bachelor marries another, Regina realizes that the love she yearns for isn't just going to appear by magic. Or is it?

A denial of blood...
Dylan Hunter has returned to World's End for his brother's wedding, but he is troubled by his human ties. Years ago, he chose his life as a selkie - an immortal being of the sea - over the fragile and treacherous emotions of humanity. The same emotions that destroyed his family, and that will strike at his very heart...

A danger to both...
Neither Regina nor Dylan can control their attraction to each other - or foresee its disastrous consequences. But their destiny has been foretold, and their fate will be decided in the stormy tides of water and fire, where only love can save them - and the world!

Sea Witch by Virginia Kantra

July 2008
Caleb's story
ISBN 9780425221990
Her spell cannot be broken...From the water…
For years, Margred has gone without the touch of another. Now, her need has driven her beyond her world to sate her desire. For she is a Selkie-a legendary being of the sea, able to shapeshift into seductive human form. Finally, she has found the one man she wants…
From the land…
A burned out veteran of big city streets, Caleb Hunter was only too happy to take a job as police chief on the peaceful Maine island of World's End. Nothing ever happens in this tiny community bounded by the sea. Until he meets a woman who's everything he's ever dreamed of. And more…
To each other…
Their passion is undeniable. Irresistible. But when a murderer begins targeting women in World's End, Caleb must face the terrible possibility that the killings are somehow connected to the mysterious Margred - and that the power of their love may change the fate of human kind

Virginia Kantra on World Building

When you write paranormal romance, people talk about the world of your stories.

“A paranormal world that moves with the rhythm of the waves of the tide.” – Suzanne Brockmann
“A breathtaking new world.” - Lora Leigh
“A haunting new world of passion and danger.” - Nalini Singh

Which is wonderful! Except then you run the risk that people will actually ask you about your world building. I get asked, and I laugh. Actually, I cough nervously and try to pass it off as laughter.

I read books, published books, books I admire, with glossaries, charts, character notes, and prologues that set up these imaginatively conceived and beautifully executed worlds.
And that’s just the finished product. Talk to the authors, and they’ll tell you that in the writing stages they create even more elaborate lists, fact sheets, family trees, species traits, and special powers that would make a dungeon master drool. (“My hero is a fourth level Paladin with a Sword of Light and the ability to see in the dark when the moon is full.” Or whatever.)

All those charts and lists and notebooks are positively inspirational. Except…I don’t do them.

My story pitches to my editor go something like this:

ME: So, I thought I’d do this police chief on an island in Maine, okay? And he’s on the beach and he finds this beautiful naked woman who’s been attacked.

EDITOR: You want to write another romantic suspense.

ME: Um…No. Not exactly. I was thinking maybe the woman—the victim, you know?—I was wondering what would happen if she weren’t human.

EDITOR: Okay. What is she?

ME: Well, there are these Celtic folk legends about the selkie…

EDITOR: The what?

ME: Immortal beings who take the form of seals in the sea and take off their pelts to come ashore as beautiful naked men and women.

EDITOR: Naked is good.

ME: Yeah. So anyway, I thought maybe the heroine—Margred—would be selkie.

EDITOR: Your heroine is a seal.

ME: Well. Sort of. Except she comes ashore as a human for sex.

EDITOR: Sex is good.

ME: Usually.

EDITOR: So where does she live when she’s not on shore?

ME: I’m not sure.

EDITOR: Who attacked her?

ME: I don’t know yet. But I think it may be another elemental who wants to pin the blame on humankind.

EDITOR: Go for it.

Every detail, every plot twist, every complication after that, is driven by the characters and their situations.

I do try to incorporate as much original source material as I can. In Children of the Sea, I used the Orkney ballads of the selkie

(“I am a man upon the land; I am a selchie on the sea”)

and structured the trilogy around an old sea shanty, “The Keeper of the Eddystone Light.”
(“of this union there came three…”)

Obviously, since all the details grow organically out of a basic premise—and then I’m stuck with them later on!--I try to keep things simple. As the characters and the series go on, however, new layers, new complications, and new dangers develop. And I wouldn’t have it any other way! In Sea Lord (May 2009), the underlying reason for the attack in Sea Witch (July 2008) is revealed. Who knew? And the prophecy in Sea Fever (August 2008) has a new and devastating twist.

I hope readers enjoy discovering the world of the children of the sea along with me.

Virginia Kantra
*Leave a comment for your chance to win a signed copy of SEA FEVER, Virginia's 2nd release in her Children of the Sea series. *

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Virginia Kantra....

We will have a special guest blogger tomorrow, Virginia Kantra. So be sure to stop by and chat with us.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Into Reading Challenge

Okay how about we take part in this reading challenge? If you'd like to take part as well please visit:

The Challenge starts today, September 22, 2008 and ends December 20, 2008. I'm hoping to get as many of these books read in that amount of time as possible. I'm trying to pick books I may not necessarily be in the mood to read.

My main list of books to read:

KISS OF FIRE by Deborah Cooke
CATCH OF THE DAY by Kristan Higgins
RACE TO THE ALTAR by Ron Benrey, Gloria Clover, Becky Melby & Cathy Wienke, Gail Sattler
COLTER'S WOMAN by Maya Banks

My hopeful list:
PATRIOT PIRATES by Robert H. Patton
ON WRITING by Stephen King
HOW I WRITE by Janet Evanovich

I hope to get all these read before the deadline but we'll see how I do.

Let us know if you plan to take part in this challenge and keep us updated on how you are doing.

hugs to all,

Saturday, September 20, 2008

And We Have a Winner!!!

Congratulations to our Karen Ranney blog post winner, Joy! Please email me your contact information, address and such so Karen can get your books out to you!

I hope you enjoy your prize, thanks for posting and be sure to check back often. Please stop back by and tell us what you think of the stories as well.

Send your information to Wendy at highlandlovesong@yahoo.com.

Enjoy the reads, they are great!

Thank you Karen for you time, and great books!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hi Karen Ranney

Welcome Karen! What an interesting Blog and my response is, I don't know if "hearing the words" in my head is a term that applies to me, but rather having the stories reappear in my head at any time is more like it. I've been an avid reader for forty plus years and I can remember tons and tons of books. The thing is the hilarious stories always pop in more than others and it usually happens when I'm on some form of public transportation. Riders use to look at me like I was nuts if I laughed out loud or giggled over some exchange between the main characters. I've take care of this though with the help of my IPOD. I have the earphones on almost always now and if a hysterical scene pops in my head I laugh and giggle till my hearts content because riders now assume I'm listening to something funny on the IPOD or watching a tv program I downloaded. It also works if an emotionally challenging story pops into my head. I don't have to explain the sad look or the watery eyes. People just assume I'm listening to a sad song.


A man in the shadows
Some say he is dangerous. Others say he is mad. None of them knows the truth about Marshall Ross, the Devil of Ambrose. He shuns proper society, sworn to let no one discover his terrible secret. Including the beautiful woman he has chosen to be his wife.
A fallen woman
Only desperation could bring Davina McLaren to the legendary Edinburgh castle to become the bride of a man she has never met. Plagued by scandal, left with no choices, she has made her bargain with the devil. And now she must share his bed.
A fire unlike any they've ever known
From the moment they meet, Davina and Marshall are rocked by an unexpected desire that leaves them only yearning for more. But the pleasures of the marriage bed cannot protect them from the sins of the past. With an enemy of Marshall's drawing ever closer and everything they now cherish most at stake, he and Davina must fight to protect the passion they cannot deny.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Karen Ranney speaks on Word Noise


When I finish working for the day I’m exhausted. I’ll avoid the phone and anything that requires me to talk to another human being because I don’t want to hear anything else. Keep in mind, however, that I haven’t actually spoken to anyone all day – I’ve been working.

When I read, I hear the words in my mind. When I write, I hear words in the same way. I hear the rhythm of them, the cadence of them, and the music of them. I hear thoughts exactly the same way I hear words and at the end of the day I’m tired of word noise.

I once mentored some adults who were learning to read. One gentleman in particular always remains in my mind. He was in his sixties and wanted to learn to read so that he could read stories to his grandchildren. He sounded out the words aloud, and even after he became more proficient, continued to do so. One day he finally confided in me the reason why. “I don’t like to hear the words in my head,” he said.

Do you think that people who like to read have somehow become accustomed to the “words in their head”? Or that it’s a comforting feeling, something they crave? Is that the reason why, in one family, one child may love to read and another avoid it like it’s peas or broccoli?

Do writers hear too many words in their head? Are we poor souls who have to have some place to put all these words or we’ll go a little nuts?

When circumstances do prevent me from writing, even for a day or two, it’s like putting a car on blocks and revving the engine. In other words, the brain doesn’t stop manufacturing stories; it just lacks an acceptable creative outlet for them. So, the mole becomes cancer, the toenail fungus - leprosy, the late phone call – an accident, and the noncommittal response – something’s horribly, terribly, awfully wrong.

My family and friends have pleaded with me to always keep writing; it’s the only way to cope with the word noise in my head without driving them nuts.

*Post a comment to this blog post for your chance to win a signed copy of THE SCOTTISH COMPANION as well as THE DEVIL WEARS TARTAN * The Devil Wears Tartan will be mailed in October.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blog Guests

Hello dear readers,
We will begin to have Blog Guests this week. They maybe authors, or they maybe others within the writing industry. Please be sure to check back to see who our guests are. Our first blog guest will be here this Wednesday, September 17th.

I hope you will stop by and offer a comment for your chance to chat with our guest and possibly win a book.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Can a Metro man be an Alpha?

Okay over at trrcpublic yahoo group we are talking and it came up about Beta heroes, Alpha heroes and metro men. Now for me I can't see a Metro man as an Alpha hero. But then I prefer Alphas to all other types of heroes. So I'd love to know our readers thoughts. Can a Metro man still be Alpha?

And will an alpha allow a woman to dominate him in bed?

What are your thoughts? Do you think a metro man, you know one of those who's always neat, gets his nails done and so forth can be an Alpha?

Let's hear your thoughts,

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sandra McCann?

Have you all seen the news about romance author Sandra McCann? Here is a link to the article.

What are your thoughts on this? Anyone read her books? What did you think of her writing?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments on this issue.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Okay so it's rainy here in NC..........

Okay so it's a rainy day here in my part of NC and I'm playing online and reading and just in general doing nothing. But it got me to wondering.....What do you most enjoy doing on rainy days? Any book(s) that you just know would make a perfect rainy day read? Do you like to watch/read scary movies/books when it's dark, rainy, chilly, and in general a day to stay inside?

Okay so spill what do you do on rainy days? (Anyone else got the song "Rainy Days and Mondays" running through their minds now?)


Monday, September 08, 2008

Unleash Your Story

Hello all,
Please visit UNLEASH YOUR STORY and donate to a great cause. They are raising money for CFF. It a great charity and a wonderful event. Please do all you can to help out.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

August Reading?

Okay let's see what you all are reading......what book is waiting on your bedside table? What book are you dying to buy in August? What book is one you hadn't planned to buy/read but you heard so much about it, or read a blog or whatever and decided to try it and loved it?

Also the TRRC site has been updated. Some great reviews are up.

Some great books there to choose from.

OKay let me see what book are you trying to read, but I keep interupting?


Friday, September 05, 2008

September 2008 Releases "As"

Okay I'm going to try to do this. Here is a list of some releases in September 2008. Bear with me as I get the hang of this okay?

Here are the books I can find with authors who have last names that start with an "A". I will try to go from there to the Bs and so on. If you know of a book being released this Month I have left out, please let me know.


DESTINY BAY by Sarah Abbot
THE REDEEMING by Jennifer Ashley
JESSE’S CHALLENGE by Nicole Austin

And we have a Winner!!!!

Hello all, and a special congratulations to our winner of the signed copy of ACHERON by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Our winner is:
Christy Foster!!!!!
Christy please email me at highlandlovesong at yahoo do com (highlandlovesong@yahoo.com) with your mailing address.
Congrats on winning!!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I'm Sorry!

Hello all,
I'm soooo sorry for not being here. I've had a bad tooth issue, then the holiday and today got 2 teeth pulled. I will be back soon with updates, releases for the month of September, maybe a surprise guest, and I will post our winner of ACHERON by Sherrilyn Kenyon shortly!

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

last days for your chance to win

Hello all,

We are getting close to the final days to send in your "reason why I should win Acheron signed" answers. Please note that it does NOT have to be a long essay style answer. Just an answer.LOL

I'm posting pics from the Signing in DC on the 18th of August. It was great fun. I enjoyed meeting with other fans and getting to see Sherri again. (see pics above?).
hugs to all,

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Blog guest: Angela and her talk with Karen Rose

Today we have a blog Guest, fellow TRRC reviewer Angela. Below is her comments from her recent excitement. Please join me in welcoming Angela and for more information please check out our website at www.theromancereadersconnection.com

I was so excited to get a chance to speak with Karen Rose, who is one of my all-time favorite authors. I will admit it: my heart was pounding with excitement while I waited for everyone else to join in on the conference call, and I was feeling a lot of excitement and a lot of nerves. Karen Rose was so warm and personable. As silly as this sounds, I kind of idolize my favorite authors the way some people idolize movie stars, and there's always a risk that an idol won't be as wonderful as you imagine--but Ms. Rose was awesome. Talking to her was like talking to a long-time friend. She was open, friendly, and forthright; she made lots of jokes. Another fun part of phone conference was talking to other readers; the conversation was stimulating and the ladies asked a lot of smart questions. What a fast half hour it was! I would absolutely love the opportunity to chat with Karen Rose or another author sometime!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

A list of current or upcoming releases?

Would you all like a post about the next month's releases? One post for Romance, one for Christian Fiction, one for mystery? Or do you get the information in other places and have no desire for it to be here?

What would you all most like to read about in a blog?


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Book clubs?

Do any of you belong to book clubs? Not online ones mind you but local ones? What do you generally do at them? I will be attending my first in person local book club on Friday. I'm excited and nervous. I'm hoping it lasts and goes well, but nervous at the same time. I think I do better online often than in person. I get nervous sharing my thoughts sometimes. Plus I have issues with my teeth, I'll admit I need dental work done and I've put it off. So it adds to my issues. But still I want a chance to meet in person with others who love reading romance. I'll just have to see how things go.

So do you belong to a book club? Preferr the ones online?

Any hints or thoughts you could pass on to me?


Monday, August 11, 2008

Win!!! New Contest! Acheron

Want to play another contest? Well here's your chance to win a copy of ACHERON autographed by the author, Sherrilyn Kenyon. What do you have to do to win you ask? Well it's simple really. Either post here or send me a private email at highlandlovesong@yahoo.com (highlandlovesong at yahoo dot com) with 150 words or less, telling us why you deserve to win ACHERON more than anyone else.

You will have until August 25th to send in your answers or post to this blog. Only one winner will be chosen.

If you have questions please let me know. Good luck to everyone!


Sunday, August 10, 2008


Okay who's read Acheron? Who's still waiting to buy the book? Who is holding their book to read for a while longer? What are you thoughts? Try not to put spoilers here please but I'd love to hear your thoughts. I loved this book!

And can hardly wait for the 18th when I'll see Sherri again and get my books signed(only have 4 that aren't signed already by her) so this will be great. Please I'm meeting an online friend up there and can hardly wait for that!!!

So let me hear your thoughts on Acheron, love it? Hate it? don't have it? what's all the fuss about?


And we have a Winner!

Congratulations to our winner of Brenda Novak's WATCH ME book. Our winner is:


Please email me, at highlandlovesong@yahoo.com (highlandlovesong at yahoo dot com) with your name and snail mail address so I can get your book out to you. Please send all information by Friday, August 15, 2008. If we do not get a response by then a new winner will be drawn.

Congrats again on winning and we hope you enjoy your book. Be sure to post and let us know your thoughts on the book.